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Powerball jackpot swells to US$1 billion for Halloween night draw

Powerball logo displayed on a phone screen and coins are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on June 14, 2022. Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Powerball jackpot has reached an estimated US$1 billion for only the second time in Powerball’s 30-year history. The next drawing is Monday night, meaning a lucky ticket holder could have a very profitable Halloween evening, and not just in terms of a candy haul.

The new estimated jackpot comes after no ticket was able to match all five white balls and the red Powerball drawn on Saturday night, when the grand prize stood at around $800 million.

The numbers drawn on Saturday were 19, 31, 40, 46 and 57. The Powerball was 23.

While there was no grand prize winner, Powerball said in a press release that six tickets won $1 million each after matching all five white balls and 80 tickets won $50,000 for matching four white balls and the Powerball.

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One ticket sold in Florida won a $2-million prize after matching all five white balls and including the Power Play feature. The lottery paid out a combined $38 million after Saturday’s draw.

The odds of winning the vast fortune up for grabs are about 1 in 292.2 million, the lottery said. There have been 37 consecutive draws so far without a jackpot winner and the prize purse has been growing for three months.

Once extremely uncommon, lottery jackpots exceeding $1 billion are now growing in regularity. The Mega Millions lottery has surpassed a $1-billion jackpot three times, all of which occurred in the past four years — and the reason is possibly engineered.

In 2015, the Multi-State Lottery Association, which administers the Powerball, changed the odds of winning the lottery. The organization increased the number of white ball options that players can choose from but decreased the number of red Powerballs.

The change had the effect of reducing the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million, but upped the chances of ticket holders winning smaller prizes by making the Powerball number more likely to be picked.

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A year after that decision was made, Powerball broke the world record for the largest-ever jackpot in U.S. lottery history with a $1.586 billion payday in 2016. This current prize of around $1 billion is the fifth-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.

In 2017, Mega Millions followed suit and lowered the odds of winning its lottery from 1 in 259 million to 1 in 302 million. It also doubled the entry ticket price from $1 to $2.

Of the top 10 largest jackpots in U.S. history, only one came before the Powerball rule change in 2015 — the last one on the list. The 10th-largest U.S. jackpot came in 2012 when three ticket holders from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland split a Mega Millions grand prize of $656 million.

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